We are a tea-loving nation, no doubt. We not only love our desi, adrak wali chai but have embraced all kinds of blends and infusions as well. And now, Argentina’s Yerba Mate tea, pronounced as jer-bah mah-tay, will soon make its way onto Indian shores.
Talking about the tea and the blend they have created with it, tea Sommelier Anamika Singh tells us, that when they tried the herb itself, they found the flavour profile really interesting. “Although it’s an acquired taste and you have to drink it quite a few times to get used to it, it lends its own taste and aroma to anything you use it in. So then we thought, why don’t we create a blend with it?” she says. The infusion, called Rise and Shine, has tisane. “It is made of Yerba Mate, licoration, ginger, lemongrass and mint in it. It’s very fresh, very vibrant and has a nice spunk to it. It makes you feel alive, ready to seize the day!” she adds.
The tea packs in plenty of health benefits as well, including powerful antioxidants, B-group Vitamins essential for bodily functions and minerals including Potassium and Magnesium.
As far as the smell and the taste is concerned, Anamika says she found it hay-like. “It’s very grassy, very dry, hay kind of smell. There is no hint of sweetness. Also, at times, it feels a little bitter but that also depends on the source,” she says. The tea needs to be infused for five minutes in hot water for the flavour to seep through.
Our verdict: We tried the loose tea and the infusions and found that while the Yerba Mate tea is exactly how Anamika described it — quite dry and with no hint of sweetness — the Rise and Shine infusion was sweeter, while still being on the dry side. For the uninitiated, we suggest starting out with the infusion first. It has a beautiful aroma and its sweeter taste will definitely appeal to most people. The loose tea, although on the flatter side, also packs in quite a punch.
Yerba Mate will soon be available at major e-retail and retail stores across the country.